Agriculture leaders and lawmakers last week stressed the need for changes in federal immigration laws to address chronic labor shortages in agriculture, especially for pork, dairy and other livestock farms that require year-round workers.

However, there was no consensus on the steps needed to fix the agricultural guestworker program during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on ag labor issues. 

Several members of the committee stressed that it’s critical to fix the entire immigration system first before working out a solution for agricultural labor needs.

PROGRAM explained

The ag guestworker program, known as H-2A, was establish­ed in 1986 to ad­­dress the need...